Business trips are a part of many individuals’ careers. Unfortunately, they are also occasions for employees to get into an accident. While most people think of workers’ comp as related to accidents on the job site, this isn’t always the case. Workers’ comp can cover accidents that take place off site in limited situations. That includes, for some employees, business trip injuries. Every Arkansas workers’ comp case is different, and calls for the guidance of a skilled attorney. Turn to the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield.
When is a business trip injury covered by workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp is designed to pay injured workers for job-related accidents. As a basic rule, therefore, non-work-related injuries are outside the coverage provided by workers’ compensation. For example, if you are injured driving home from work, that accident will likely not be covered. It is true that you were leaving work at the time of your injury. But you were not performing work duties (assuming you simply went home, to the store, or elsewhere). Once you leave work, the coverage provided by workers’ comp generally ends.
But this isn’t always the case. If you leave work and get hurt while doing something related to your job, you may qualify for workers’ comp. An example of this could be a business trip.
When you leave work on a business trip, that trip is clearly job-related. Another way of describing the trip is “within the scope of employment.” You would not have gone on the trip but for your work. It would therefore be unfair for your employer to not cover an accident that takes place during that time.
The question then becomes whether the business trip injury occurred within the scope of your work. But are there times when this standard might not apply?
How your business trip injury might not qualify
Let’s say your business trip involved travel to another city and attendance of meetings. During one of those meetings, you get injured. Most likely, this will qualify for workers’ compensation and your employer will have to pay.
But let’s say during that trip you decided to visit a museum. The museum visit has nothing to do with work; it’s for personal enjoyment only. During that trip to the museum, you slip and get hurt. Workers’ comp would almost certainly not cover you. After all, the trip was outside the scope of your employment and not related to it.
When an individual decides to deviate from their business duties, they venture outside of workers’ compensation protection. Remember, the system is not designed to be an absolute coverage of all accidents loosely related to employment. An injury must be job-related, but must be within the scope of that employment as well. Fortunately, in the above museum example, you will have other options such as a personal injury lawsuit.
Then again, however, the situation could become murkier based on the facts of your injury. Perhaps you went to the museum, but it was to meet a client. How much of the trip was work-related versus for personal enjoyment? At the moment you became injured, were you performing a work duty? Questions like these require careful analysis and the input of a seasoned workers’ comp attorney. That’s where we come in.
Let Us Review Your Case Today
As you can see, workers’ comp cases turn heavily on the individual facts of every work-related injury. The specific details of your accident will affect whether workers’ compensation may be an option. Let the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield review your injury and assess your claim. We’re ready to answer your questions today.